February 13th, 2024 at 4:04 pm
10 eCommerce Trends To Look For in 2024
11 minutes reading
Happy new year! Hopefully, 2024 will be even better than 2023, and all your personal and business plans will become a reality. Of course, we are not children, and we know that good things come to those who work hard for them. Or if not hard, at least smart. So, what better way to send 2023 off than to look at what to expect in the upcoming 2024? We already gave you a glimpse at what trends to expect for Digital Marketing, WordPress, and SEO. So today, let’s finish this mini-series with a quick rundown of what to expect from eCommerce in the next 12 months. OK, let’s get started.
Personalization will be the theme of 2024
The era of a one-size-fits-all approach in eCommerce is drawing its last breath. Soon, a new era will dawn. An era of personalization. Each customer is special, and they expect a personal approach. AI will catalyze this process as first-party and zero-party data start flowing in. With the help of artificial intelligence, you can personalize each experience based on the user’s behavior.
For example, depending on the entry point, you can provide the potential customer with a specific customer journey that will accommodate their needs and interests. For instance, if a customer comes to your website through your blog, it means they are trying to satisfy a query. Naturally, they need a bigger push, as they are still unsure whether your products will fulfill their needs. Thus, providing them with benefits, added value, testimonials, pros and cons, and a FAQ section will increase your chances of finishing the sale. On the other hand, if the entry point is directly on the product page, the user is ready to buy. They are past the research point, so you must provide them with a comprehensive and lucrative deal, convince them your website is secure, and allow them to use their preferred payment method.
Once the purchase has been completed, you can work on retainment by personalizing your messaging even more. Still, personalization won’t be enough to beat the competition in 2024. It is, however, the bare minimum. To increase your chances and be better than average, you need an additional push. One that will help you not only bring in new customers but also make sure old ones return for more.
Loyalty programs are a must
Loyalty programs are not something new, especially when it comes to big brands. However, in 2024, there will be no business small enough that won’t offer at least some rewards to loyal customers. We live in an age where bargains can be found with a click of a button. Some apps and extensions even show you where the best deals are and even offer coupons. So, the question is no longer if you should have a loyalty problem but how to structure it.
No surprises here, as a recent study shows that the prospect of earning rewards influences the customer’s spending behavior. Moreover, 64% of loyalty program members spend more money to maximize the points they will make. This comes to show that a loyalty program can increase your profits, of course, depending on your rewards. Keep in mind that, on average, each American customer is part of 16.7 customer loyalty programs, so your incentives must be better than those of your competitors.
So, in 2024, you must add a loyalty program to your website if you want customers to return. There can be all sorts of rewards. Giving free products in exchange for gathered points is the fastest and most common practice. However, that does tend to qualify in the one-size-fits-all stigma, so we’d suggest going a step further and just offering a gift card or a coupon worth some money in exchange for the points. This way, each customer can get the product they like with a significant discount.
If you want to go even further, you can utilize AI, analyze the user’s behavior, and offer them a specific product they will be interested in at a massive discount.
Use your imagination and build your loyalty program based on what fits your business model.
Gen Z on the focus
Catering to Gen Z will be at the forefront of eCommerce in 2024. This young generation is joining the economically active and will sculpt the retail business in the foreseeable future. This goes double for eCommerce stores targeting more youthful people with tighter budgets. Luxurious items are still in the domain of Millenials and Gen X, though. So, be mindful of what you’re selling.
In 2024, this new player on the market will have a huge impact on the retailer’s behavior. One thing is sure – you will have to implement some additional value to your products. The retailer’s values greatly affect the newest generation, which will only grow as the dominant customer demographic. They emphasize the need to purchase from sustainable, eco-friendly, diverse, and ethical retailers.
Thus, to be successful in 2024, an eCommerce business must be transparent, open to innovations, sustainable, and know how to communicate with the Gen Z crowd. So, try to build your messaging based on what this new dominant demographic wants to know. Don’t focus on superficial exaggerations on how your product will improve their lives. Just be straightforward and give them all the information. This will make you a trustworthy partner in solving their problem. Otherwise, Gen Z is the most tech-savvy and well-versed generation when it comes to advertising. This means they can spot an exaggerated and dishonest ad from a mile away. Once deemed untrustworthy, your business is as good as gone.
Video over image
With the rise of Gen Z as the dominant customer, retailers will start catering to their needs. The good news is that this demographic is way more responsive to ads. Actually, 56% can recall an ad they watched for just 2 seconds. That’s the main thing, though: Gen Z prefers videos over images. They predominantly consume information through short videos. We can blame TikTok and Instagram for this.
Another thing to consider is their attention span. Though, on average, their attention span is about 2.7 minutes, if you don’t grab their attention in the first 8 seconds, consider your ad skipped. Thus, you need a skillfully made, entertaining, short video to capture this audience’s attention.
Aggressive advertising is a bad idea. It’s far better to be truthful to what you offer but make it enjoyable and colorful. Start with a hook. Remember, you have 8 seconds before they scroll down. Also, make sure to emphasize your brand’s mission, especially if it’s related to sustainability. Seriously, sustainability will sell in 2024, so if you want to succeed, just start thinking of Mother Earth.
This will be a great starting point, but you should also consider enlisting micro-influencers to discuss your business and endorse your retailing practices. Just be sure to do your research so you don’t waste your money on someone who doesn’t engage your target audience.
AR and VR are trending as well
Influencers are not the only thing up the successful eCommerce website’s sleeve. Utilizing the power of AR and VR will also make a huge difference in 2024. Though they are still predominantly used by big brands, smaller retailers who manage to implement AR or VR tools in their platforms will be front and center in 2024.
An excellent example of a brilliant AR is Saatchi Art’s app. It allows you to place any painting, photo, or print in their collection on your wall and see what it would look like. So, if you offer home decoration, you can take a page out of their book and create an application to let your customers place your products on their furniture and see how they will lighten up the place.
On the other hand, we have Virtual Reality. Now, VR is a bit more complicated and a lot more expensive to produce. Still, if you can afford it, you might want to be one step ahead of your competitors. VR is becoming more popular and still predominantly untapped in eCommerce, so being a pioneer will significantly boost your growth.
If the financial burden of creating a VR world is too much for you, just go with the much less complicated Livestream Shopping. We predict that 2024 this trend, started by Amazon in 2019, will start gaining traction. TikTok has already begun testing live shopping functionalities in the US. YouTube and Shopify are also preparing their own versions, giving retailers and micro-influencers one more channel to interact and introduce their products.
In a nutshell, livestream shopping is a form of e-commerce that combines live video streaming with online shopping. It involves a live broadcast, usually hosted by a presenter or influencer, showcasing products or services in real time to an audience of online viewers. Viewers can interact with the host, ask questions about the featured items, and make purchases directly within the livestream.
Often, livestream shopping includes limited-time offers so they can engage the FOMO in the customers.
Best of all, livestream shopping can build social proof by showing viewers that other people are interested in the product and that it is of good value. This can be a powerful motivator for purchasing, especially for products that are unfamiliar to the viewer.
The best part is that you don’t have to be Amazon to make your own livestream shopping show. You can do it on your YouTube channel or your Social Media page.
Still, before you get in front of the camera, ensure you have at least some experience in lifestreaming. You must be able to entertain your customers and viewers for the entire duration of the lifestream, regardless of whether they ask questions. So, make sure to prepare a scenario and practice talking for as long as it’s needed.
Direct communication will be more important than ever
The best part of livestream shopping is the direct communication with your customers. Direct communication will be vital for any retailer in 2024. With 68% of customers ready to pay more for better customer service, it’s no wonder why so many retailers are implementing direct communication channels. Whether it’s by phone, direct messages, or a customer service platform, it’s important for the customer to receive answers when they need them. So, if you can make your customer service 24/7, this will greatly boost your success.
Actually, in 86% of cases, a customer satisfied with the direct interaction with the brand will become a long-term brand champion. Furthermore, 89% of customers will make a second purchase after a positive interaction with a brand representative.
Naturally, not everyone can build a 24/7 customer service center. Still, it’s a good idea to implement AI as the first touchpoint for your customer support. Most times, customers want to ask questions that you’ve already answered in an FAQ or elsewhere. So, having a robot answering the easy questions will allow you to reduce the cost and time needed to interact with all your customers. Still, you must be ready to answer all previously non-specified questions. And if you can’t afford to make it 24/7, be sure to be available when your target audience is most active. For example, if you are operating overseas, make sure to be online when they are most likely to seek your help.
A good direct communication ethics can lead to incredible results. A positive interaction with a brand representative can lead to up to 1400% higher ROI in the long run. So, investing in better direct communication with your customers is definitely worth it.
Faster delivery, better results
Nearly half of US citizens expect their delivery in two to three days. So, if you are within that norm, you will most probably be OK in 2024. However, with Amazon Prime and the next-day delivery options many retailers offer, these expectations will inevitably go down. With the rise of services that offer extremely fast deliveries and loyalty programs that provide them for free, staying relevant in the eCommerce market is a challenge. So, if you have the budget for it, we’d suggest putting some groundwork into shortening your delivery time.
The first step is finding a partner who can process your packages faster and even over the weekend. Naturally, this will cost you a bit extra, but it will be worth it long term. Or, if you have your own fulfillment center, make sure to double down on faster deliveries by motivating your employees, hiring new teams, and even opening new fulfillment centers closer to your customers. While in 2024, one-day deliveries are still only a recommendation, we won’t be surprised if, a year from now, this becomes mandatory.
Social media is still the most visited platform on the internet. This is where people spend their time, which won’t change in the foreseeable future. At least not until something better comes along. Regardless of how you feel about Social media marketing and sharing your profits with the likes of Meta, X, or Linked In, with more than 4.9 billion users, Social Media is a must if you are a retailer.
By now, you should already have a robust social media presence. This includes a brand page where people can engage and interact with you. However, 2024 will demand even more. If you already haven’t, using the social media marketplace is now a must. In 2023 alone, the various social commerce marketplaces generated close to 1.3 trillion dollars in revenue. This number will rapidly grow and is expected to reach 3 trillion as early as 2026. With users spending 2+ hours daily on average browsing social media, that’s hardly a surprise.
Focusing on the US in 2022, 36% of US internet users bought at least one product directly from a social media platform. Today, nearly half (47%) of social media users would buy directly from a social media platform, as 42% would trust them with their primary payment method (debit or credit card)
So, there is no need to attract customers to your landing pages anymore. Just make your social media presence about selling products and utilize the power of social commerce. This will inevitably boost your profits and ultimately lower overall costs even if you pay a small fraction of the winnings to the social media channel.
Headless websites on the rise
Finally, we have a trend that will make your web designers extremely furious. Headless website architecture has been getting significant attention in the last several months, and in 2024, we predict it will become the norm. In a nutshell, a headless website is a website that separates its presentation layer (frontend) from its content management system (CMS) or data storage (backend). This decoupling allows for greater flexibility and scalability, as developers can choose the best technology for each website layer.
There are a lot of benefits if you go for a headless website. For one, they are much better at creating consistent branding across channels. Because the presentation layer and backend are decoupled, headless websites can load faster and be more responsive. This is because the backend can focus on serving content. In contrast, the presentation layer can focus on rendering the content in a way that is optimized for the specific device or platform. Naturally, this makes the architecture much more inclusive to different devices.
Furthermore, headless websites are easier to scale than traditional websites, as changes can be made to the backend without affecting the presentation layer. This is because the presentation layer is independent of the data it displays.
In other words, headless architecture is perfect for eCommerce, especially during personalization. Having your front end detached from the back end will give you the agility to offer your customers the experience they expect. Naturally, this will enhance your overall stats and give you the boost you need.
2024 will be even better for eCommerce
In 2024, more than a fifth (21.2%) of all retail deals will happen online. This will lead to a 2 trillion dollar increase in 2024 alone, leading to a total of 8.1 trillion dollars. This is a trend that will only grow. So, if you want to get the lion’s share in this highly competitive industry, all you need to do is stay one step ahead of your competitors. Knowing the trends of the online retail business is the first step. The main pillars behind your success are implementing a robust strategy and ensuring your website is always at its best performance.
The strategy is entirely up to you, though we do have some pretty good advice in our blog. However, we can help you with building one lightning-fast, reliable, and secure website. HostArmada offers top-shelf hosting services, allowing you to create a reliable online store without fearing security breaches and downtime. Check out our plans and choose the one that fits your needs perfectly. After all, every successful eCommerce operation starts with a reliable hosting provider.